Surrealist Art: Max Ernst’s ‘Attirement Of The Bride’

Attirement of the Bride is an example of Max Ernst’s veristic or illusionistic Surrealism, in which a traditional technique is applied to an incongruous or unsettling subject. The theatrical, evocative scene has roots in late nineteenth-century Symbolist painting, especially that of Gustave Moreau. It also echoes the settings and motifs of sixteenth-century German art. The willowy, swollen-bellied figure types recall those of Lucas Cranach the Elder in particular. The architectural backdrop with its strong contrast of light and shadow and its inconsistent perspective shows the additional influence of Giorgio de Chirico, whose work had overwhelmed Ernst when he first saw it in 1919.

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